‘The China story is our greatest test’

The International Federation of Journalists and conference organisers Play the Game have launched a helpline and a website to support thousands of foreign journalists in Beijing during the Olympic Games.

“The China story is our greatest test. It’s a golden chance to showcase quality journalism for democracy. Working seriously is the best support that journalists can give to the principle of freedom of expression in China and all other countries,” says Aidan White, the general secretary of IFJ.

The helpline and background information on China are available at

The helpline can be accessed by all journalists in Beijing during the Olympics. It will offer advice and assistance to journalists and Chinese authorities in case of doubts of difficulties when administering the liberal media rules.

The website is open for the public and will over the next few weeks be loaded with background information on Chinese society, sport and media provided by leading international experts.

All kinds of stakeholders and many different opinions will be represented on the website, and the organisers issue an open invitation to journalists, academics and others with knowledge about China and the Olympics to submit material for the site.

Special attention will be paid to ensuring that Chinese voices are heard.

“For foreigners there is a lot to learn from listening to the Chinese. The Olympics is a unique opportunity for opening the dialogue between the citizens of China and the world with a view to raising the standards of our future communication,” says Jens Sejer Andersen, director of Play the Game.

The initiative comes as a direct result of an IFJ mission to China in April where the delegates met among others Qian Xiaoqian, State Council Information Vice Minister and Jiang Xiaoyu, the Executive Vice President of BOGOC.

For more information, please contact:
Aidan White
Secretary General
International Federation of Journalists (IFJ)
Office phone +32-2-235 22 00
Cell phone +32-478-258-669

Jens Sejer Andersen
Play the Game
Cell phone +45 20 71 07 01
(29 June-6 July and from 28 July)

Michael Herborn
Communications Manager
Play the Game
Office +45 70 27 55 77
Cell phone +45 21 29 39 93

About the organisers
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is the world’s largest organisation of journalists. First established in 1926, it was relaunched in 1946 and again, in its present form, in 1952. Today the Federation represents around 600,000 members in more than 100 countries.

Play the Game is an independent non-profit organisation founded and funded by Danish sports organisations, as well as receiving significant funding from the Danish Ministry of Culture. Play the Game aims to strengthen the basic ethical values of sport and encourage democracy, transparency and freedom of expression in world sport.

SJA MEMBERS: Make sure your profile details are up to date in the 2009 SJA Yearbook by clicking here